UNESCO has named new World Heritage Sites around the world
The United States' newest site is in San Antonio
Uruguay, France and Jordan also have new listings
A narrow, 10-mile strip of Canadian coastal cliffs dating back more than 500 million years contains the oldest known collection of large fossils in the world. Located on the southeastern tip of the island of Newfoundland, the Mistaken Point cliffs were added to the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage List on July 17, 2016.
They are among the 27 newest members of the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage List.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed 21 sites on the World Heritage List during its annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 10 to 17.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee had been considering new sites at a meeting in Bonn, Germany, that started June 28.
San Antonio Missions site gets World Heritage status
The inscribed sites must meet one or more of 10 criteria such as “representing a masterpiece of human creative genius,” containing “exceptional natural beauty” or being an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement.
UNESCO has been adding sites to the World Heritage List since 1978. Nations often spend years developing pitches for inclusion on the list because of its significant cultural cachet and the fame and resources it can attract to sites in need of restoration and protection. They must convince the UNESCO committee that they will protect their sites and support them financially.
Explore Yellowstone and 11 more of the first World Heritage Sites
The World Heritage Committee also added several existing sites to the List of World Heritage in Danger because of armed conflict, natural disasters, lack of economic resources and other concerns.
France wine country toasted with World Heritage status
The committee declined to add the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the list in danger last week, much to the relief of Australia’s government, which had feared the negative attention.
The committee cited improvements in the government’s response to the reef’s problems but set a December 2016 deadline for a report on improvements to the beloved site. Pollution and coal projects have brought the reef worldwide attention, and many environmental groups have lobbied for the “in danger” listing.
At the same time, Georgia’s Historical Monuments of Mtskheta site was removed from the list in danger in recognition of Georgia’s efforts to improve the safeguarding and management of the site, which had been on the list since 2009.
The United States had nominated a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s structures this year. The committee referred it back to the United States with a request for additional information before it’s resubmitted for examination.
After failing to pay its dues for two years, the United States lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013, per the agency’s rules.
Go to whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties to learn more about the newly named sites.
Mexico: Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
- China: Tusi sites
- Denmark: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church settlement
- Denmark: Par Force hunting landscape in North Zealand
- France: Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars
- France: Climats, terroirs of Burgundy
- Germany: Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus
- Iran: Cultural landscape of Maymand
- Iran: Susa
- Israel: Necropolis of Bet She’arim, a landmark of Jewish renewal
- Italy: Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalú and Monreale
- Jamaica: Blue and John Crow mountains
- Japan: Sites of Japan’s Meiji industrial revolution
- Jordan: Baptism site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas)
- Republic of Korea: Baekje historic areas
- Mexico: Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque hydraulic system
- Mongolia: Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape
- Norway: Notodden industrial heritage site in Rjukan
- Saudi Arabia: Rock art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia
- Singapore: Singapore Botanical Gardens
- South Africa: Cape Floral Region protected areas (significant extension of “Cape Floral Region protected areas” site)
- Spain: Routes of Santiago in Northern Spain (significant extension of “Routes of Santiago de Compostela” site)
- Turkey: Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens cultural landscape
- Turkey: Ephesus
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The Forth Bridge
- United States: San Antonio Missions
- Uruguay: Fray Bentos cultural-industrial landscape
- Viet Nam: Ke Bang National Park (significant extension of “Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park” site)